GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) -- A young Triad teen’s life has forever changed after she was shot in a car along with her mother, but despite it all, she's proving that she's a survivor in every way.
Colleena Figueroa, who's just 13, puts on a brave face even though the shooting has left her paralyzed.
Her life has drastically changed compared to what it was just three months ago when she was just an average teen going to school every day.
The memories of the night of June 30, are still very much with her. Greensboro police found her and her mother in their car with gunshot wounds.
Soon after she was taken to the hospital, Colleena's injuries proved to be much more serious. She suffered a gunshot wound to the right shoulder, and the bullet traveled to her spine, causing a severe spinal cord injury, and paralysis from the chest down.
She says it's been stressful, going from the hospital to rehab and appointments, but she's facing every day with a positive attitude and the belief that things will get better.
"Everything happens for a reason, and I have a really long journey ahead of me," Colleena said.
Over the last couple of months, family and friends, and even strangers have been touched by her bravery and resilience.
"I just hope that I get stronger. You know I’m not saying that I’m gonna walk, but hopefully, I do," said Colleena.
So many are rallying around Colleena by offering prayers and donations for her recovery. While they hope she'll walk again, doctors have said they're less optimistic - so the short-term goal right now: finding the money for a more adaptive-vehicle for Colleena and her wheelchair.
But no matter the road ahead, Colleena says she's ready to face the challenges.
"I just try to keep the most positive feeling," she said, "I don't like to think about negative stuff. I just want to keep moving forward and think about my future."
Colleena has a bright future ahead of her and she says it's important to never give up.
"Keep your head up. Don’t ever give up because you never know if something good will happen," she said.
Police did arrest a 16-year-old but all the charges were dismissed by the District Attorney's Office after officers found out he was not anywhere near the location at the time of the crime.
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